A great number of the children at the Flamboyant School are not academics so therefore sitting in the classroom trying to concentrate does not come easy to them. Once they turn 25 they are forced to leave our school without any skills or qualification to allow them to fit into a normal life. This has prompted us to try and introduce and develop the Life Skills Programme.
We were very grateful to the Hash Harriers who donated K10 000 to kick start this project. With the classroom ready we then managed to find a wonderful enthusiastic teacher called Maria who is trained in special needs as well as needlework and has done basic beading and art before.
We started off with basic art and crafts with some children showing great talent. Then we introduced the beading crafting, knitting and sewing with the children. We purchased beads, connectors, charms as well as loom bands and scoobies to start with. This was a great success the children have had a lot of fun making all different necklaces, key chains and bracelets. Not only do the children love each class and have become more and more creative but it is very good for the children’s motor skills. We then invested in knitting needles, wool, fabric and scissors. The children have come a long way with their knitting and making aprons hand bags and helping with the sewing of different costumes for school performances.
The Organic Vegetable Garden
We also started an organic vegetable garden where many of the children spend time each day learning about gardening and helping to plant, weed and water the seedlings. This is a great opportunity for the children to learn but also to be outdoors. The vegetables grown in the garden feed the children at the school and the remaining vegetables are sold in and around Mazabuka
We experimented with some cooking classes using the small kitchen in the hall which the children thoroughly enjoyed and were great fun. It was however rather challenging with only one oven and a small work space. After these classes we saw how enthusiastic the children were about cooking and with it being a great life skill we decided to try and build a cookery classroom of our own.
Last year in June the Musikili School grade 7 class challenged themselves to a 55km walk which raised K25150 towards our new cookery classroom.
The Future Of Our Life Skills Programme
This year we hope to continue with our life skills programme which has proved to be a great success. Not only are the children blossoming as they show off their different talents but the teachers are enjoying developing their skills too. We would like to improve and advance our beading, crafting knitting and sewing skills so that we can start making goods to sell. We will be starting cookery lessons in our new cookery classroom which I have no doubt will be a very exciting and a wonderful asset. We hope to turn out some competent little chef’s in the not too distant future.
It is important that we have more life skills for the boys to allow them to challenge and to express themselves. So we will try and slowly start basic wood work, metal work and mechanics.
It is a dream that one day we will have our own little shop to sell and show case some of the creative goods that our children have made.